In his defense of President Obama last night, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes made the bizarre case that too much security is the real problem at the border. The All In host used his opening segment on the July 9 edition of the program to hammer Republicans for their critique of the President's response to the border crisis.
Hayes first cited a few liberal talking points arguing that Obama really is tough on immigration. He contended that “the border has never been more secured than it is now. In some ways, the humanitarian crisis along the southwest border is actually a result of that security.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
The All In host continued with his spin for the President’s handling of the crisis at the border: “If the border was not well staffed and protected, agents probably wouldn't be there to apprehend the unprecedented number of unaccompanied minor children who are showing up. We wouldn’t be seeing pictures of children on U.S. buses or in U.S. processing facilities.”
Finally, Hayes ended with a bit of a cheap shot against Republicans, claiming the right really only has one way of talking about immigration. He suggested that “Calling for more border security is the only way Republicans can talk about immigration. It's what their base demands. The problem is, those calls could make the crisis even worse.”
More border security would make the border crisis even worse? It seems to escape Hayes that with a truly secure border, illegal immigrants would not be able to successfully enter the United States at all, rather than being detained upon entry. Hayes also ignores a key conservative point that it is Obama’s immigration policies, not just a failure to secure the border, that have led to the influx of unaccompanied children being detained at the border.
This liberal narrative has been quite common on the Lean Forward network. On last night's Ed Show, guest host Michael Eric Dyson called Sarah Palin's criticism of Obama's response to the border crisis "treasonous," and earlier on The Cycle Toure claimed that the GOP has been successful at "demonizing" immigrants.
The relevant portion of the transcript is below:
All In with Chris Hayes
July 9, 2014
8:07 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS HAYES, host; To hear the Republicans tell it, the humanitarian crisis on the border is the result of the president's refusal to enforce the southern border.
RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas: What has to be addressed is the security of the border. You know that, I know that, the President of the United States knows that. I don't believe he particularly cares whether the border of the United States is secure.
HAYES: Republicans are using the rising number of unaccompanied migrant children apprehended at the border by border patrol to argue for stronger border patrol. But those calls ignore the unprecedented buildup at the border in the years since President Obama took office.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right now there are more border patrol agents and surveillance resources on the ground than at any time in our history.
HAYES: Under this president, funding for immigration and customs enforcement and customs and border protection has steadily increased. There are more CBP agents patrolling the border now than under any other administration. In fact, the budget for customs and border protection has doubled since 2005. Under President Obama, the number of people deported has reached record highs, with almost all of that increase coming from deportations at the border. Not in workplaces or homes, but at the border. The border has never been more secured than it is now. In some ways, the humanitarian crisis along the southwest border is actually a result of that security.
OBAMA: The issue is not that people are evading our enforcement officials, the issue is that we're apprehending them in large numbers.
HAYES: If the border was not well staffed and protected, agents probably wouldn't be there to apprehend the unprecedented number of unaccompanied minor children who are showing up. We wouldn’t be seeing pictures of children on U.S. buses or in U.S. processing facilities. Those minor children would probably be coming into the country largely undetected. Calling for more border security is the only way Republicans can talk about immigration. It's what their base demands. The problem is, those calls could make the crisis even worse.